A new kaleidoscope of memories

Memories have funny triggers.

It can be a smell, song, place, view or experience. The same place can have lots of different memories depending on the experience, the company and even the weather. This trip has already been such a wonderful chance to reminisce in many places I have been before and loved.

Sydney is a bit of a mix for me. A few good ones, but most of them tinged with bitter after taste as I remember the moments I loved, and then the moments that followed.

I have been here many times and today I visited it again, but for everyone else with me, it was their first time. That bridge still takes your breath away as it peeps out from around the corner. And the Opera House is, well, stunning, for everyone, every time. Even my bub pointed and oohed in appreciation. Which is a big deal, because it isn’t a truck!

And that was about where the admiration and sightseeing ended. Because I have never been to this city with two small, wild, boys. And as my husband said today, I’d like to come back here one day – without these two monsters. It was ambitious, sure, but most of this adventure is, and we’re in it together so we might as well give it a crack. The pubs are beautiful and old and appealing, the bakeries extraordinary with their windows lined with delicacies, and the shops unusual and expensive. But all were merely admired from afar. After finally restraining the wild child we wandered The Rocks and wished and wondered. But we were happy to keep walking, we had to be, we had no choice. After a bus ride and a ferry ride it was probably to be expected that the wild child was going to unleash. And in all honesty, Circular Quay was far less offensive than either of those confined spaces, (in which he was amazing well behaved!) I’m not sure whether it is better to be publicly humiliated with a screaming, demanding three year old, (while trying to restrain the 17 month old octopus we travel with), in a place where you do not know a soul, or somewhere you know lots of people and you might get a sympathetic smile from someone you kind of know. I am positive I will have more opportunities to reflect on this in the coming weeks.

It was lovely to see my husband impressed with the beauty of this big city. It was lovely to feel warm and slow and out of place. It was lovely to be here as a family. I don’t know if this is a memory my kids will ever own, but it is one for me. It will fill up more space than some of the other more unpleasant ones I have. But not all. As I walked through The Rocks today I did point out the corner I had the pleasure of seeing Jon Stevens, very up close, playing a gig, and a pub I drank in with dear friends while away at a work conference. I remember seeing fireworks off that bridge one New Years, and catching the Manly ferry on my own and missing my friends. I’ve missed planes out of Sydney, danced in gay clubs for the first time in Oxford St and walked the zoo solo with a roll of black and white film in my camera.

There are many other heart-pumping memories of Sydney filled with the stink of fear and embarrassment and shame and betrayal. A months worth, and then some. But today the beauty of this city was overwhelming and the company stunning. If I’m going to be embarrassed by anyone, then my wild child is the one person I pick. Especially with a chubba bub there to chase after and my husband to hold my hand.

 

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